Mary Susan Rohwer, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away on May 19, 2020, surrounded by her adoring family. She will be remembered for her kindness, selfless compassion, pie crusts, and genuine love for others.
She was born March 9, 1931, in Detroit, MI to the late Dr. Warren B. and Susan (Peeke) Cooksey.
Mary Sue graduated from Kingswood School Cranbrook in 1949 and received a B.A. in Biology with departmental honors from Park College in 1953. In 1969-70 she attended Oberlin College’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, and later taught in Kalamazoo, MI.
She met Brad Rohwer her first year in college and 4 years later in 1953, they married. Brad was by then a seminary student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Upon his graduation they embarked on the first of many adventures. They worked in Graz, Austria at a work camp under the auspices of the World Council of Churches. Upon returning they began their ministry serving four different churches in Ohio and Michigan before retiring to Estes Park, Colorado in 1992. After 23 years in Estes Park, she and Brad moved to Grand Rapids, MI to be closer to their children.
Mary Sue's greatest passion was her family - three children, their spouses, seven grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. She and Brad also had a passion for hiking, camping, and skiing. After retirement they climbed 13 of Colorado's 14'ers, including Longs Peak twice, and most of the peaks that surround Estes Park. They were avid members of the Trailmasters hiking group.
She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, was a past elder, deacon, and taught church school in every church they pastored. She was also a member and past president of Chapter HF P.E.O., a past treasurer of the EP League of Women Voters, a past board member of Crossroads Ministry and an active volunteer there for over 22 years. She was a faithful Meals-on-Wheels deliverer for over 40 years in Michigan and Colorado.
Mary Sue is survived by her husband of 66 years, Brad; their children: Wendy Blanchard (Evan) of Madison, WI, Christopher Rohwer (Mary Lou) of Kalamazoo, MI, Debra Byl (John) of Grand Rapids, MI and grandchildren: Adam Blanchard (Libby), David Blanchard (Alex), Michael Rohwer (Jess), Katie Rohwer, Emily Johns (Danny), Andrea Baird (Carl), and Nicki Byl. She is also survived by her sister Barbara Bowers and was preceded in death by her brother Dr. Norton Cooksey.
A private family memorial will take place this summer.
At a later date her cremains will be taken to the Columbarium of the Community Presbyterian Church of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, where she and Brad retired and lived for 23 years.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to either:
Emmanuel Hospice: 401 Hall St. SW Suite 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
or Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park: PO Box 3616, Estes Park, CO 80517. tinyurl.com/yafpsn2p